Alleged Trademark Troll and iPhone Developer Trade Volleys

August 12, 2009 -

The Tim Langdell saga continues...

By now, most readers are familiar with the controversy surrounding IGDA board member Tim Langdell, considered by many to be an abuser of the trademark process.

Perhaps the most frequently-heard complaint against Langdell is that in May of this year he persuaded Apple to remove the best-selling iPhone game EDGE from the App Store by claiming that the MobiGames title violated his trademark on the word "edge."

In the interim a movement to oust him from the IGDA board has taken hold, with more than 2,000 members of the group signing a petition to that effect.

Langdell has now fired back, disputing various allegations in an open letter to MobiGames and posting the text of various e-mails.

Pocket Gamer UK, however, has news of a response from MobiGames. There is a good deal of finger-pointing from both sides and it sounds as if this one will need to be worked out before a judge.

Partially Via: Kotaku


Comments

Re: Alleged Trademark Troll and iPhone Developer Trade ...

I'm not sure who to believe. Langdell still seems like a ***t of a copyright troll (I really, really want to know the truth about how far a common word can be copyrighted) but, hate him or not, his response on that page is well put together.

Re: Alleged Trademark Troll and iPhone Developer Trade ...

It is not a copyright. It is a trademark. Big difference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark

A trademark or trade mark[1] is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

Copyright gives the author of an original work exclusive right for a certain time period in relation to that work, including its publication, distribution and adaptation, after which time the work is said to enter the public domain.

He registered a trademark for the word Edge in connection with gaming. The real question is how deep did his trademark go in its coverage.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Alleged Trademark Troll and iPhone Developer Trade ...

Judging from the brief perusal I just had of some of those documents, it looks like their trademark doesn't include any variation of "Edge" or words in combination with "Edge". That, I think, is reasonable.

Re: Alleged Trademark Troll and iPhone Developer Trade ...

Not only that but you can't trademark common words like that. He can no more hold the rights to the word edge than he could to the word tree or cloud.

Eggy Weggs

Eggy Weggs

Re: Alleged Trademark Troll and iPhone Developer Trade ...

He owns the rights to it in a gaming setting. It's no different than Bungie/Microsoft (whoever owns it) putting a trademark on "Halo." You will never see a different company release a game called Halo because it's a trademark.

Personally, I don't agree with being able to hold rights to a word, but when you're in a business like this person is, it's not about agreeing or disagreeing, it's about protecting your IP. Having read his statement, it certainly seems like that's all he's trying to do.

 

Edit: Having read the comments below, though, it does certainly seem like he's a troll. I wasn't aware of the laws that some people were describing. So yes, this guy is a doucher, but if any other company did it I could see why.

 
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